Just about every fighter has gone into a fight injured. You can add PFL featherweight Brendan Loughnane to that list.
Loughnane returns to action to kick off his 2022 PFL season on April 28. When he was last in action, he lost a split decision to the eventual tournament winner, Movlid Khaybulaev. The 32-year-old was dealing with a hand injury, and no one was the wiser.
“There was a lot of factors going into that fight, and I should not really have been in the fight, but I did it anyway. Don’t regret anything. I had a great fight with my blood,” Loughnane told Cageside Press recently.
When asked what factors he was dealing with, he revealed that he’d suffered the injury in a previous fight.
“I broke my hand in the Tyler Diamond [fight]. And, you know, my manager was like, pull out and everyone was like, pull out, pull out, pull out,” Loughnane said. “But I didn’t want to let everyone down. So I had surgery and fought four weeks later; it’s pretty much unheard of, like nobody’s done that. So I did it. I rolled the dice and still came up with a split decision. With the circumstances, I’m happy with the way it went. But you know, obviously, this year, I know how the format works. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And I’ll be looking to implement my fight IQ now.”
The English fighter also revealed that his loss was a wake-up call because, for the first time in his career, Khaybulaev’s wrestling was too much.
“He really implemented his wrestling on me, and he’s been the first fighter so far in my whole career, which is a 14-year career, that has been able to implement wrestling like that. So it was a bit of a wake-up call. Since then, I’ve been training with a lot of Dagastani’s, a lot of Russians, a lot of great wrestlers in Thailand and tried to fix the holes,” Loughnane said.
Loughnane welcomes Ryoji Kudo to the PFL this Thursday on ESPN.
Watch the rest of our interview with PFL 2’s Brendan Loughnane above.